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GEO News (Issue #2, 13 March 2009)

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BUILDING GEOSS
  Call for Contributions to Work Plan receives strong response
 
The Call for Contributions to the GEO 2009-2011 Work Plan issued by the Secretariat on 13 January generated a strong and positive response that promises to foster increased partnerships and collaboration around GEOSS implementation. More ...
   
  How European Community FP7 projects support GEOSS
 
The first research activities resulting from the 2007 Call for Proposals under the Environment Theme of the FP7’s Cooperation Specific Programme are now being implemented. More ...
   
  CEOS to coordinate space observations for GEOSS forest monitoring
 
The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) adopted a communiqué last week pledging to support the GEO Task on Forest Carbon Tracking by coordinating the necessary space data. CEOS also aims to secure the interoperability of the optical and SAR sensors that, together with in-situ monitoring, are essential to forest monitoring. The communiqué is posted here.
   
  A Tour of the GEOSS Common Infrastructure
 
The development of the GEOSS Common Infrastructure (GCI) and its various components continues to advance, with 206 components and 173 services now registered. Ivan DeLoatch and Doug Nebert describe the effort to establish the GCI in an article posted here.
   
  GEO BON launches work on “early products”
 
The Task on the GEO Biodiversity Observation Network continues to make good progress with implementation. In particular, four early products should demonstrate the viability of the GEO BON concept over the coming year. Meanwhile, the European EBONE project has been established as a GEO BON pilot. More …
   
  GEO Members to access “Space and Major Disasters” Charter
  The International Charter on "Space and Major Disasters" provides a unified system for delivering space-based data to countries addressing natural and man-made disasters. Soon for the first time all GEO Member governments will be able to access this valuable instrument. More…
   
  MERIT project on meningitis to assist Ethiopia
 
The GEO Task supporting the Meningitis Environmental Risk Information Technologies (MERIT) project has launched its second national case study. Benefiting from the initial work in Niger, MERIT is formalizing a subgroup of MERIT partners around meningitis activities in Ethiopia. For more information, see the Ethiopian Case Study Concept Overview.
   
GEO UPDATE
  Kyoto hosts 3rd GEOSS Asia-Pacific Symposium
 
The Symposium explored how to strengthen collaboration on improving observation, prediction and data sharing in the fields of climate change, water resource management, ecosystem maintenance, and disasters under the central theme of “Cross-cutting data sharing in the Asia-Pacific Region”. More …
   
  GEO BON refines its governance
 
The interim steering committee of the GEO Biodiversity Observation Network met in Washington DC from 22 to 23 January to respond to the GEO-V request to refine the GEO BON governance structure. More …
   
  IGWCO becomes a GEO Community of Practice
 
At its fifth planning meeting, the Integrated Global Water Cycle Observations (IGWCO) decided to convene itself as a Community of Practice, noted the substantial progress being made on soil moisture and other substantive issues, and reviewed new initiatives on the African Water Cycle Initiative and on drought monitoring and drought impacts. More …
   
  Beijing workshop advances system of systems for Agriculture
 
The GEO Workshop on “Developing an Agricultural Monitoring System of Systems”, held in Beijing, China from 11 – 13 February, marked an important step towards the development an ambitious global system for delivering forecasts and other information on crop production to farmers and policymakers. More …
   
  Asian Water Cycle Initiative Identifies Priorities
 
Also meeting back-to-back with the Kyoto Asia-Pacific Symposium, the AWCI defined four target areas for regional cooperation, addressed the challenge of capacity building and agreed on next steps. More …
   
  Report of GEO Forest Monitoring Symposium now available
 
The first GEO Forest Monitoring Symposium, held in Brazil in November 2008, endorsed the new GEO Task on Forest Carbon Tracking and stressed the importance of developing stronger LIDAR, radar and thermal capabilities. The full report, which identifies further recommendations as well as gaps and priorities, is now posted here.
   
  UIC meeting advances synergies with ADC and CBC
 
The User Interface Committee (UIC) is collaborating with the Architecture and Data Committee (ADC) and the Capacity Building Committee (CBC) on strengthening user engagement. More …
   
  ADC sets course for 2009
 
The ninth meeting of the Architecture and Data Committee (ADC), held on 8-9 February in Kyoto, focused on the transition to the new 2009 – 2011 work plan and setting priorities for the rest of this year. More …
   
THE SECRETARIAT
  New experts and SBA responsibilities
 
Ms Masami Onoda from Japan and Mr Fernando Ramos from Brazil have joined the Secretariat as new seconded experts. The updated list of how secretariat staff is supporting the Societal Benefit Areas can be found here.
   
UPCOMING EVENTS
  The updated 2009 calendar
 
The GEO calendar will be dominated by two major cycles: the Committee meetings, scheduled for April/May, September, and November; and the reconciliation process for the Work Plan, Targets and performance indicators. These and other GEO-related meetings have been updated here.
   
ANNOUNCEMENTS
  ISRSE to promote GEO Societal Benefit Areas
 
The 33rd International Symposium on Remote Sensing of the Environment (ISRSE) will take place from 4 to 8 May 2009 in Stresa, Italy. The Symposium will focus on the use of Earth observation systems and airborne techniques for understanding and managing the Earth environment and natural resources. For more information, visit the ISRSE website.
   
  Romania to host data-mining workshop
 
The International Workshop on Innovative Data Mining Techniques in Support of GEOSS, to be held from 31 August to 2 September, will explore how to improve the extraction of data and images from the petabytes of Earth observations now available in rapidly expanding archives. For more information, please see the invitation letter.
   
  Call for Proposals to support decision making
 
GEO has issued a Call entitled “Earth Observations in Decision Support Projects” that seeks to identify projects that demonstrate the benefits of Earth observation applications to end users in developing countries, particularly in the fields of agriculture, energy, human health and water. Details are available in the CFP document.